A nearly empty parking lot at the VTA Winchester light rail station, which will become an affordable housing site.
VTA is leasing its Campbell Winchester station parking lot to an affordable housing builder to redevelop it into 90 apartments. Photo by Annalise Freimarck.

Campbell is set to add nearly 100 affordable homes on a site leased from VTA off Winchester Boulevard.

The 1.6-acre project will turn an underutilized parking lot at the Winchester light rail station into 90 affordable apartments for residents making 60% or less of Santa Clara County’s median income — more than $153,700 in 2022, according to U.S. Census data. Of the 90 apartments, at least 23 will be dedicated to permanent supportive housing for homeless people.

Campbell Vice Mayor Sergio Lopez, member of VTA’s board of directors, said the project is personal. A Campbell native, he grew up near the Winchester station and said he and his mom often took public transit while his dad used the car to travel between jobs.

“Growing up in a working-class family, growing up facing housing insecurity, I felt firsthand how difficult this is for so many of our residents,” he told San José Spotlight.

The project received $5.1 million from Measure A, a $950 million affordable housing bond voters passed in 2016, according to VTA. The project will break ground in 2025.

Nonprofit People Assisting the Homeless Ventures (PATH Ventures), a subdivision of PATH, and affordable housing developer Related California will develop the project, which has its move-in day slated sometime between 2027 and 2028. PATH will manage the site leased from VTA after completion. The project, located at 2400 Winchester Blvd., is in collaboration with Campbell and Santa Clara County.

The development is the fourth affordable housing project in the last nine months in a series of VTA affordable housing leases. Last year, the public transit agency furthered plans to build two affordable housing developments near Tamien Station and Berryessa Transit Center.

Tenants living in the permanent supportive housing will be selected through the county’s coordinated entry system, which matches homeless residents with housing. These individuals will receive a Section 8 subsidy to cover rent. They will pay roughly 30% of their rent based on income and gain access to supportive services such as job training, family counseling and social activities.

PATH CEO Jennifer Hark Dietz said supportive onsite housing will give formerly unhoused people more stability.

“It’s really important to have affordable and supportive housing in all of our communities because we know that individuals who are living unsheltered and unhoused are living already in the community,” she told San José Spotlight.

Each development VTA works on has to include at least 25% affordable housing, with the goal of increasing accessibility to transit stations for low-income residents.

VTA spokesperson Stacey Hendler Ross said the Winchester development is a win-win, since the transit agency will gain more ridership from tenants and revenue from the developer.

“Campbell especially is one of the up and coming communities where a lot of people are moving, a lot of tech employees are moving,” Hendler Ross told San José Spotlight. “They can afford some of the more expensive apartments, but there’s still people in that community who can’t afford those expensive apartments or condos or houses.”

The development will count toward the city’s sixth housing element, a detailed plan submitted to the state every eight years indicating how it will accommodate more market-rate and affordable housing.

Campbell was one of first cities in the county to secure state approval for its housing element last year, with plans for 3,870 new homes. Cupertino and Los Gatos are still waiting on state approval and San Jose’s housing element was approved last month — one year past the deadline.

Lopez said residents have been supportive of the project.

“It’s one of the most welcoming communities in the South Bay,” he said. “That also means making sure that there’s a place for future generations, for new residents, people coming from from outside the Bay Area.”

Contact Annalise Freimarck at [email protected] or follow @annalise_ellen on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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